You have heard how meditation is good for your health. So, how do you learn how to meditate? What’s the easiest way to learn? Here are two basic steps to beginning meditation made just for you.
What is Meditation?
We think the best way to define meditation is any method that calms or stops our internal dialogue. When we halt the internal chatter of the active mind, we enter a sacred space.
Meditation is a way to connect with our inner peace. It’s good for overall health and wellness. That’s because the practice of meditation makes us more mindful, peaceful, and calm. And so, it’s not only good for you but everyone around you.
Once you learn how to meditate, the technique is yours forever. You can take it with you everywhere. You can use it any time. I guess you could say that meditation is the first mobile device. It’s a powerful tool of consciousness. It enables us to harness the power of our minds. There are also many levels. So, you will never get bored. There’s always something new to learn.
Above all, the spiritual journey often begins with learning how to meditate. However, you don’t have to believe in any religion to practice meditation. Meditation is a universal process. It works just like following a recipe for baking a cake. If you follow the directions you get something delicious. Perhaps you are curious about it, or maybe you have tried to meditate but were unsuccessful. So, we have a treat for you. The following is a powerful but simple form that anyone can learn.
Learning How to Meditate!
Here are some tips to help you with the learning process.
1) Start small. Start with allowing yourself 2 to 3 minutes. That’s all you need. You will feel the benefits of meditation almost immediately. There’s a complete list of benefits available at this link.
2) Set a reminder. Use the power of technology to get you away from technology. The reminder on your handheld device is a great tool. Start with a reminder mid-morning and then mid-afternoon. This way you won’t get too busy and forget.
3) Be gentle with yourself. If you can’t take the time to meditate don’t beat yourself up. It’s difficult to establish good habits. This is a good habit, so keep at it. Find ways to make time to be still and calm your mind.
4) Create a positive self-care habit. Remember, learning how to meditate won’t do you any good unless you do it. The most positive influences are often the simple ones. Just like this beginning meditation process. You’ll be glad you did. Many people find it a “game-changer”.
It’s a learning process. If you forget, don’t beat yourself up.
The essence of this method is learning to quiet the mind. It’s not as easy as it seems. That’s because our modern culture discourages downtime. Our Ego also wants to maintain control. So, it’s happy to keep us busy. That’s why meditation is one of the main elements of a healthy life and spiritual practice. It helps us take back control of our minds.
Beginning Meditation Process
Just because it is simple doesn’t mean it isn’t powerful. This is one of those things that will have a positive impact. Sometimes just 2 or 3 minutes is all you need to give you a new attitude. The clarity of thought brings solutions, and the calmness is something even other people can feel.
There are only two steps to this simple process, but they are important ones. We rest the mind, giving a chance to reset naturally. Then our thinking and actions will be more aligned.
The First Step — Observe The Body
The first step to beginning meditation is learning to focus our attention without creating friction. We start by moving our attention to our posture. Sit comfortably with eyes closed. Your spine straight but not strained. Place your hands in any comfortable manner. It’s best not to cross your legs. Be gentle with yourself. The mind has a natural tendency to wonder.
Bring your attention to your posture and your body. Start by focusing your attention on the crown of your head and moving downward. Many people find it helpful to close their eyes. However, as you practice this beginning meditation process, you’ll find you can leave your eyes open.
Yes again, you’ll probably find your mind wandering about other things. This experience is common. Don’t beat yourself up. You aren’t doing it wrong, just return your attention to your posture. This body scan meditation can be done for any length of time. Always be gentle.
We rarely pay attention to the sensations of our bodies unless there is some pain. So, with this step, we are bringing our powers of observation into focus. We are learning to observe without interfering. Learning to observe is an important step which has the benefit of immediately quieting the active mind.
This first step should be restful. It should be enjoyable. At the same time, it may make you aware of aches and strains you are ignoring. It may also bring up emotions. So, this practice helps put us back in touch with our emotions and our bodies. This is the first step toward mindfulness meditation. We’ll discuss mindfulness meditation later.
The Second Step — Observe the Breath
If we are comfortable observing the body, the next step is the observation of breath. So, while sitting and observing the body, bring your attention to your breath. We are trying to observe without interfering.
Inhaling and exhaling are normal unconscious functions. So, this step can be awkward at first. That’s because we are not accustomed to observing our breath. The tendency is to alter the breath once we realize it. This is common.
If observing your breath is awkward, resume observing the body. You can try observing the breath later when your meditation practice progresses it will become easier.
Beginning Meditation Summary
First, schedule a time, and do it!
Step one is to observe the posture.
Step two observe the breath.
Benefits of Meditation
You will tap into the benefits of this meditation practice immediately. It can reduce feelings of anxiety the first time you meditate. We become more familiar with our emotions and bodies. And it introduces us to a restful oasis. Thus, giving our active mind a place to recharge.
The goals here are twofold. First, we are getting more in touch with our bodies. Second, we are enhancing our observational skills. Another key point, most seated forms of meditation have these two elements at their core.
As we mentioned above, these two steps are important steps toward being more mindful. The more you practice, the easier it becomes. Soon it will be a part of daily life. Once you learn how to meditate, it becomes an asset. You can use it almost anywhere and anytime you have a few minutes.
The next step is with a more in-depth practice of seated and moving mindfulness. This next-level has a few more steps. However, it also brings with it additional benefits. Mindfulness is awareness with purpose. All of your perceptive skills are brought into focus. You can learn more about these next steps by following the above link.
We hope you found this article helpful, maybe even thought-provoking. You will find more interesting posts on our blog page. Use the “search” option on the blog page to find articles by key terms, topics, or category.
Does spiritual exploration interest you? If so, we offer both face-to-face and virtual learning sessions. We use a blended learning process to get the best learning outcomes. This blended approach aligns with what Joseph Campbell calls the Hero’s Journey.
Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia